Perspective on being “good enough”
Hal Runkel, in his excellent resource on parenting Scream Free Parenting, shares the following perspective:
“The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” -Jill Churchill, O Magazine, May 2003
“Every now and again we talk with people who say something along these lines, ‘I get what you’re advocating. I just don’t think I can do it all the time.’ To which I say, welcome to the club. No one can. That’s not what ScreamFree Parenting is all about. If we get caught in the trap of thinking that we have to be perfect in order to be ScreamFree, then we’re missing the whole point.
“The point is to work consciously on growing yourself up, and that’s a process, not a product. Simply put, there is no such thing as perfect parenting. By beating yourself up for not being “perfectly ScreamFree”, you are limiting yourself and what you are capable of. Remember, doing something in the right direction is always better than giving up and doing nothing. Give yourself a break and know that just reading this tip today is “something” and in some small way, both your kids and you will benefit.”
What Hal says about ScreamFree, can be said of pastoring. It’s not about doing it perfectly.
Those who pressure themselves to be perfect tend to be hard to work with, are often angry at their church for not cooperating, beat themselves (and their parishioners) up, and are prone to allow discouragement overwhelm them.
They typically don’t finish well.
Rather than perfection, a much more effective and healthy goal is, as Runkel states, “to work on growing yourself up.” We can be content with being in the process.
What Churchill says about parents can be said of pastors. There is no way to be a perfect pastor. There are a million ways to be a good one.